Friday, March 12 - Wednesday, March 17, 2010

“PICKPOCKET was inspired by Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, but all incidental anecdote and psychology has been stripped away. Employing few establishing shots and little camera movement, Bresson distills narrative down to a particular essence of looks, gestures, and precisely placed audio effects. (‘The noises must become music,’ he wrote in his notebooks.) His mise-en-scéne is as understated as his montage is aggressive—creating performances out of reaction shots, using sound to signify offscreen events. Bresson refers to this method as cinematography, opposing it to ‘the terrible habit of theater.’

“Indeed, PICKPOCKET might be described as a solemn carnival of souls. There’s something almost medieval about it. The city is inhabited by angels—fallen and otherwise. In the movie’s most elaborate scene, the antihero and his cohorts create an assembly line of theft at the Gare de Lyon. These unstoppable blank-faced thieves descend like a plague upon the world. Ultimately inexplicable, this concentrated, elliptical, economical movie is an experience that never loses its strangeness.” – J. Hoberman, Village Voice

  • Country France
  • Language French
  • Rating NR
  • Year 1959
  • Running Time 75 minutes
  • Director Robert Bresson

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and DoesTheDogDie.com as well as through general internet searches.